The very worst form of national service is, of course, the military draft, which forces young people to kill or be killed on government orders. The draft lowers the cost of an interventionist foreign policy because government need not compete with private employers for recruits. Anyone who refuses a draft notice runs the risk of being jailed, so government can provide lower pay and benefits to draftees than to volunteers.Three sentences. The first and last are perfectly true. The middle sentence disagrees with human nature and blows up the whole argument. In fact a draft makes neocon foreign policy HARDER, not EASIER. When a broad cross-section of men are in the Army unwillingly, they don't take a lot of crap. We pulled out of Vietnam because most Americans had a stake in the war and most Americans could see it was shit. The all-volunteer Army includes ONLY men who are naturally inclined toward military service by genes and/or culture. These men have formed a priestly caste, highly capable and efficient at military tasks and unsuited for civilian life. They will obey all orders because obeying orders is their life and passion. Very few Americans have close connections with the priestly class, so even if the soldiers were mutinous their attitude wouldn't affect the country.
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.